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Last week, we learned that the Chicago Cubs are willing to listen to trade offers for anyone on the roster, and it didn’t take long for teams to come a-callin’ about a certain starting pitcher.

A team source tells me that multiple teams have already been in contact with the Cubs about Matt Garza’s availability, including the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, and the Texas Rangers. The Cubs have been telling teams that it will take a huge offer to pry Garza loose, which offer must include some ML-ready talent. Nothing is quite yet in the works, but the Cubs have had preliminary trade talks with the Rangers.

The natural questions that follow may come with surprising answers. The questions: why would the Cubs trade their best pitcher, who is only 28 (next week)? And doesn’t trading Garza raise the white flag on 2012, something Epstein and Hoyer have said they won’t do?

In short, the answers are the same: trading Matt Garza now can dramatically improve the Chicago Cubs in 2012 and beyond.

Allow me to explain.

First, and foremost, Matt Garza is a highly valuable commodity – even more so in a Winter where top-line starting pitchers are hard to come by. Garza is coming off arguably the best year of his career, and could net the Cubs upwards of three excellent, ML-ready young players in trade. The Cubs are faced with a choice: is it worth forgoing that value now in the hopes that Garza will still be highly effective (and healthy) in 2013/2014 and beyond (when he will be significantly more expensive, mind you), when the Cubs have a better chance of surrounding him with competitive parts?

And it’s not as though Garza is affirmatively cheap anymore. He’s under control for two more arbitration years, during which he’ll make about $9 million in 2012 and $13 million in 2013. Is that less than he’d make on the open market? Absolutely. But it’s also an amount of money significant enough that it merits consideration in the calculus about trading Garza.

To put a specific example on it, let’s say the Cubs could sign Edwin Jackson to a three-year deal, in which he’d make something like $9 million in 2012, and $10 to $12 million in 2013 and 2014. That’s actually probably an overestimate, which makes it conservative for this exercise. Jackson, who is the same age as Garza, is among a handful of middle tier starting pitchers available this Winter.

Now, Jackson is not Matt Garza, and represents a downgrade. But, because their salaries would be approximately the same in the near term, in exchange for the downgrade from Garza to Jackson – not Garza to nothing – the Cubs could pick up as many as three top, ML-ready prospects. For that downgrade in Garza to Jackson, the Cubs very well might have significantly improved the team overall. And, better, in the positions where those youngsters play, the Cubs save even more money, which could be used to improve the roster even further.

The point of this exercise is simple: even if the Cubs are determined to field the best possible team in 2012 – to say nothing of 2013 and beyond – it is conceivable that trading Matt Garza is one of the ways to accomplish that goal. It seems counterintuitive to trade your best pitcher to make your team better, but, in practice, it can very much play out that way.

This is what it means to trust Theo and Jed. And I do.

  • Cliffy

    Great scoop Brett, no wonder you were known as Ace.

    • CubFan Paul

      ‘the artist formally known as..’

  • EQ76

    if we get a load of talent back, I’d be okay with it.. but it would have to be a great return.. like the top hitting and pitching prospect from the other team at the very least.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I doubt the Cubs would settle for much less than that. I wouldn’t put the odds of Garza getting moved at more than 50%, but IF he is moved, I’d say it’s likely most will be happy with the return. That’s the way the Cubs are playing it – trade him only if the offer is outstanding. I like it.

      • EQ76

        I would be happy if the Yanks offered and 2 of these three players. (Montero, Banuelos & Nova) Shoot, all 3 and we’ll throw in Marmol. If we got Montero, we could then trade Soto for a decent return as well.

        That trade could net us 2 young starting pitchers for next year, a possible starting catcher and whatever we get for Soto. It would definitely be a move for the future.

        • Dan

          Montero cant catch

  • Kyle

    Hmm. I don’t think I would mind that.

    It’d have to be one heck of a haul, but he is only under contract for two more years.

  • Todd

    I’m OK with it. However, the pitchforks will be out if this goes through.

  • http://www.calliopevoices.com EtotheR

    Absolutely…I’d rather sow the seeds for long-term success. If we can trade a couple of blue chips for better future prospects, I’m all in…

  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

    I’m on board with the idea. He’s not my first choice to trade, but then I doubt he is Theo and Jed’s first choice to trade either.

    The Cubs would need to be overwhelmed, though. I might have to take some time today to dig into the Texas farm system and see what’s there.

    • Dan

      Texas farm system is pretty good. Profar must be included though

  • Morgan

    If Rangers give us Martin Perez, Jurickson Profar, Engel Beltre then get the deal done, we have to get 3 of a teams top 10 maybe top 7 best propects, we’ll throw in Barney and Garza, The Red Sox have nobody I would want, besides Ellsbury, Buchholz which i doubt they give away. Yankees got some good propects, id like to get gardner with them to, but I wouldnt trade um to yankees cause we know yankees propects never pan out. Only few teams id trade him to that would have the talent to bring in Garza, I think he take the next step this year and becomes a legit #1, we knw dumpster nothing more than #4 these day

    • JasonB

      We’re not getting Perez and Profar in a trade for Matt Garza – sorry. Perez and another solid prospect or Profar and maybe a less solid prospect would be more likely although I don’t see the Rangers trading Profar for Garza at all. Anyone that wants to get a better sense of Garza’s value should look at Dave Cameron’s chat on http://www.fangraphs.com from last Thursday. Personally, I think he is underestimating Garza, but he isn’t as valuable as everyone is suggesting here – he’s somewhere in between.

      And yeah, those Yankees prospects never pan out. Jeter, Cano, Rivera, Posada, Gardner et. al are a bunch of bums.

      • hansman1982

        but he would instantly become the best FA starter if the Cubs released him today…and that, sir, is where his immense value is.

        • JasonB

          Sure – but the value of that is not two top 20 prospects, which is what the suggestion was in the post that I responded to – nobody is going to give that. My math is putting the value of Garza’s contract at about $30 – $35 million tops. A top 10 hitting prospect (which Profar is) alone is worth $36 million. A top 20 pitcher (which Perez is) is worth about $20 million. Scarcity is not going to cause someone to overpay by $20-$25 million.

          • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

            Out of curiosity, how are you coming up with that valuation for Garza? I neither agree nor disagree, I’m just curious what you are looking at when you set that number.

            • JasonB

              Sure – first, I assume that Garza is a 5 WAR pitcher, which is what he was this year) and that a win is worth $5 million. So his value over the next two years is:

              2012: 5 * 5 million = $25 million
              2013: 5 * 5 million = $25 million

              so Garza will add $50 million in value over the next two years. We still have to pay him though, and he is going to get the following salaries:

              2012: $9 million
              2013: $12 million

              So he’s worth $50 million but we have to pay him $21 million so his surplus value is $29 million. Add in $5 million for type A Free Agent compensation picks if he opts for Free Agency at the end of his contract and he’s worth $34 million.

              The value calculated above is based on his current WAR of 5, which is thus far an outlier season. Is someone going to pay a price assuming he will maintain this performance level over the next two years? Assuming they think the breakout is legitimate, then maybe they will. Also, I could argue that $4.5 million per win is the more appropriate number to use because that is the baseline that was used to calculate prospect values. If we use that number, his surplus value post type A compensation becomes $29 million.

              So that’s how I arrive at the range that I calculated.

              • Pat

                Bref shows him at 2.9 war for 2011. Who has him at 5?

                • JasonB

                  Fangraphs had him at 5

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Makes sense; though, one could argue that the salary he’d get on the open market (i.e., what the Cubs would have to pay to get a pitcher identical to him) is nowhere near $25 million per year. If Garza was a free agent today, I wonder what kind of deal he would get. Maybe $16 to $18 million per year over six years? I’m not disagreeing with you, by the way – it’s just an interesting spin on the discussion.

                • JasonB

                  Excellent point – and that would imply that he is worth less than what I calculated above.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Yup. Which suggests that if the Cubs can get the kind of return outlined above for him, they’d be even more wise to do so.

                    This is all just for the sake of discussion, mind you.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        I don’t think Perez or Profar will be leaving the Rangers system, even for a guy of Garza’s caliber.

        From the Rangers, I’m thinking something along the lines of Mike Olt, Robert Ross, and Miguel De Los Santos. ( http://cubbiescrib.com/2011/11/21/how-much-for-matt-garza/ ).

        I’m still not sure I like that package.

  • oswego chris

    You give a great example in the Jackson scenario Brett….this would still have to be a “haul” in my opinion….for example…I wouldn’t take Chris Archer, Jak Ku Lee(Sp) and Brandon Guyer for him…I would say..a current affordable under control MLB player, and two top ten prospects…so say..JUST AN EXAMPLE…Brett Gardner, and two top Yankee Propsects

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And that’s the real question: would you rather have Matt Garza, or Edwin Jackson, Brett Gardner, and two top prospects? Seems easy enough to answer to me.

      • hardtop

        im with you if one of those prospects was a projected 1 or 2 starter.  starting pitching, in the modern era of baseball, is the single most important part of a successfull ball club… in my opinion.

      • Lou

        Or Aaron Harang and top prospects. I remember at the trade Fangraphs did an article on Garza and Dave Cameron compared him to Harang. If we’re gonna spend Jackson-type free agent $$$, might as well go after Harang.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          That article was based on Garza’s Tampa WAR, which wasn’t all that impressive. That WAR also led to a number of absurd articles claiming that Tom Gorzelanny was a better pitcher than Matt Garza.

          I think the only thing we can take away from those articles is that WAR is a useful tool, but a dangerous one. When used improperly, it can cause such ridiculousness as articles from reputable websites comparing Gorzelanny and Harang favorably with Garza.

          That said, I’d happily sign Harang to a contract with or without Garza on the roster. I think he’s a fourth starter at best now, but I’d sign him.

          • Lou

            Definitely, agree with your points. Just wanted to throw that article out there to see others’ reactions. I wonder how much Harang has left in the tank? If we trade Garza, I unfortunately see a pitcher like him being our #1 starter next year–unless, of course, we get a stud like Jacob Turner in a Garza trade (which I don’t see happening.)

  • Cedlandrum

    If it’s the Rangers you have to start with Scheppers and Perez plus a bat like Olt or Villanueva.

    With the Yankees. You have to ask for Montero. You won’t get him but you have to ask for Montero and when they say no, you get Gary Sanchez. Have to also get either Banuellos or Brackman and finish off with a guy like Heathcoat or Adams.

    Sox. Ask for a guy like Middlebrooks or Reddick and then fill in with guys like Cecchini and Workman.

    That is where I would start.

    • JulioZuleta

      If the Yanks get Garza and take on Zambrano and send us some studs back in return, we will get better for the future, open up payroll, and the Yanks will finish 20 games ahead of the Red Sox next year. Win-win-win situation.

  • chris margetis

    Off topic, am I the only person excited to see the lukewarm-at-best interest in Aramis, including from teams with 3B needs and lots of money? I love how many GMs have effectively said they have zero interest in him. There’s a reason for that…

    • hogie

      I didn’t want to seem bitter (he should have got us a good return last year… damn waffling), but since you started it… BwaHaHa!

    • Pat

      I wouldn’t read too much into it just yet. Seems like a slow start to free agency overall.

  • CubbingTonight

    For the Sox I would say if the Sox wanted Garza they would have to take Soriano, Byrd, and Zambrano as well as their remain contracts.. I would also ask for Ellsbury or Wil Middlebrooks in return as well.

  • Morgan

    Or the Royals, maybe looking to take the next step, maybe willing to trade there loaded farm system, Id take Gordon, one of there leftys montgomery or lamb, Hochevar, Ondrozzi (sp)

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Not impossible. The Royals are said to be serious about upgrading their pitching, and they could probably afford to trade for Garza twice without exhausting their farm system.

  • Cliffy

    QT @HotStoveCubbies: Rival Exec: The #cubs are listening to offers for garza but want a lot in return or for team to take on Soriano and\or Z contract.

    Was this included from your source? Or just mere speculation.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No discussion of Z or Soriano on my end, but it wouldn’t totally shock me. Still, priority one is building for the future – and that means young talent.

      • JB88

        I personally wouldn’t tie a Soriano (much less a Zambrano trade) to a trade to Garza. No need to sacrifice your best trade chip to get out from under a sunk cost like Soriano. Much better just to try to make a couple separate trades, even if you end up eating a ton of money on Sori (or Z).

        I can’t imagine that Theo or Hoyer would EVER consider such a trade because it would cost them in the return they receive and would certainly compromise any rebuilding effort they’d make.

  • Cheryl

    This is exactly what I meant earlier. The cubs would need an exceptional offer for Garza. But this is what listening to offers is all about.

  • hogie

    From mlbtr.com

    “Cespedes’ people told one club they already have an offer with $10MM up front and eight years.”

    You think Jed and Theo would try to jump ahead of the competition? I would assume that the money upfront would lead to a lower annual salary. There is lots of budget room for next year.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Eight years? Already?

      Some of those have to be option years. I can’t see anyone opening the bidding with an eight year contract. He may wind up there, but if the talks start with eight, where does it end up?

    • hardtop

      “There is lots of budget room for next year.”

      maybe not as much as we would like to believe.  with raises and arbitration value considered and short and long term plans for personel, any decision to sign someone and spend any kind of significant money needs to be very big picture and executed carefully.  keep in mind ricketts has probably quintupled his front office payroll (or more), so i dont think they are looking to add much payroll in the next couple years… spend wisely!

    • CubFan Paul

      aroldis chapman got $16million up front/signing Bonus ..Cespedes is going to get paid like a mofo

  • MrCub73

    In a deal for Garza, in addition to minor league prospects I would like to see a major league talent coming back, someone that is still young but has already experienced some time in the majors. For example, In a deal with the Rangers a guy like Mitch Moreland. Moreland is a young first baseman/outfielder that has had decent success and flashes of potential to be something better.

  • kernzee

    I love the idea of tying soriano or zambrano to garza . A combined 74 million dollar obligation with an expected return of 20 to 25 million . 50 million buys a lot more talent in the international free agent market than your likely to get back in any trade .

  • Ashley

    Great article again Brett I was completely against this until I read your article and now it makes more sense.

    I would not hate the idea trading Garza although I really like him, but I do think like Brett said we willhave to getat least 3 ready prospects for me to be happy with the deal. That being said I think Theo and his guys in the front know what they are doing and I have faith in them, so if trading Garza is what they think is best for the team than I am behind them.

    I think we all know that 2012 is not going to be an easy year because we are going to be at the bottom of the division again but the future is going to be bright and the more we can add on for the future the better.

  • die hard

    Would be justice to make up for the Brock for Broligio trade by trading him to Cardinals for one of their diamond in the rough up and comers.

    • EQ76

      So you want to give the team we’re trying to catch a front line starter? and Wainright will be back next year too?? um.. big fat NO!

      • die hard

        Please let me break it down for you….Brock traded for Broligio in 1964 turned out to be catalyst for Cards being in WS 64, 67 and 68, winning in 64 and 67. If whoever we would get in such a trade could help Cubs do the same, Id take it. Thats the point of the most lopsided trade in baseball history short of Babe Ruth traded to the Yankees.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          Anyone in particular in the Cardinals minors that you have in mind? No one there excites me all that much, but I haven’t studied it too closely just yet.

          • die hard

            Tyrell Jenkins and Matt Adams for Garza may work

  • JB

    Could Garza be used to move the not so great contract of Soriano?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Could, but I’d rather move them separately. Garza by himself should return two or three very good prospects or young major leagues guys. If the Cubs use Garza to offload Soriano, that probably drops to one high level and one mid level at best, assuming the other team absorbs Soriano’s contract. If the Cubs eat Soriano’s contract, then they wouldn’t need to use Garza to move him.

      I’d rather move Garza alone to maximize the return for him, then make the best deal available on Soriano. It will cost the Cubs more money to do it that way, but money is what they have. Talent is what they need.

  • Jeff

    Your reasoning makes sense, Brett.  The thing is, I wouldn’t touch Edwin Jackson, there has to be a reason he has been traded 6 times in 8 years.  I have also read that some see him as a potential number 1 starter, and that would drive his cost up prohibitively.  I am all for listening to and getting blown away by offers for Garza or anyone else in the organization though.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, I’d be open to being convinced Jackson’s a no-go. He was just the best example based on age, expense, free agency status, etc.

  • Nate

    The only way I would feel comfortable with trading Garza is if we got the kind of haul that we gave to the Rays when Garza was acquired last winter. Plus a major league 3B. now THAT would be Christmas…

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      The Cubs could actually get more for Garza than they gave up, in part due to the regression in Archer this past season, but mainly due to Garza’s career year.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        And the market is a bit thinner this year.

        • BetterNews

          Brett—I think dealing Garza would be a huge mistake! You take away his 2 seasons with Minnesota and his WHIP is 1.2 something! Granted his win/loss record doesn’t look that good at first glance, but there are reasons for that, as we know. Also, he is in his prime. This is the reason we aquired him, he is only going to get better. I would in no way say 2011 was a career year for this guy, I would say the best is yet to come. Having said that, any kind of trade for Garza would have to be HUGE in terms of what the Cubs get in return.

          • Lou

            That 2011 wasn’t a top year for him is hard to say though. I believe I read that he was throwing more sliders last year and getting more ground balls. Traditionally, he is more of a flyball pitcher. I wonder if now would be the time to trade him because in 2012 he may revert back to form. I would rather the Cubs trade him, and as I stated in a earlier thread, get a young pitcher we could develop into a “Matt Garza” and solid offensive MLB-ready players. That’s why you do the deal.

            • BetterNews

              That’s the whole point! Are you willing to “gamble” Garza away for someone that “could develop” into a Matt Garza. This fan says no way, no how!

              Keep the gambling at the casinos, brother.

              • jstraw

                We don’t need Garza to be Garza until there’s a team around him that can contend. You’re talking about gambling that he’ll still be Garza in two or three years. meanwhile, his biological clock is ticking. Sell him high for youngsters that will be part of a contender.

                • BetterNews

                  Wait! Your saying the Cubs can’t contend for 2 or 3 years? You must be “deadbird” fan. Fly away now(LOL)

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                You keep setting up a false choice. The question is not either Matt Garza or someone who could become Matt Garza. The question is Matt Garza or an established pitcher not quite as good as Garza AND a young pitcher who could become the next Matt Garza AND a positional player who could become the next Ian Kinsler AND another prospect or two.

                It is fair to choose Garza in that scenario. But that’s the scenario. Start there.

                • Lou

                  So you’re basically saying the same thing I am? I think? Garza or someone you can project into developing in Garza (not unrealistic since I think Garza is solid but not the same as Price or Shields of the Rays) and offensive counterparts. Also, how it is fair to choose Garza in that scenario? So, if the trade works the Cubs are getting a Garza-type pitcher back plus filling offensive holes on their team. By the way, with new CBA, this is a move the Cubs MUST make. BetterNews is just WRONG!

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Yes – plus whatever you can sign with the money that was otherwise going to Garza ($9ish million in 2012, and $13ish million in 2013).

                    • Lou

                      Do you think that money would be used to fill out the rotation?

                  • BetterNews

                    Lou—Come on now! That comment about the new CBA and my thoughts was completely uncalled for. I have not read through the new CBA as you have not! There will not be “clear” repercussions or a thorough understanding when it comes to that anytime soon.

                    Relax! You might be wrong.(LOL)

    • Jeff

      I wonder how many fans would like to see the Cubs make that deal in reverse if they were offered it now.  My guess is not very many.  I would say none, but there are some borderline crazy people around here now.  I think some of them would borderline orgasm over the thought of having Sam Fuld and Tony Campana in the same outfield.

      • BetterNews

        So true, so true.

      • Cedlandrum

        Not the whole deal but I would take Lee, Guyer, and even Archer back.

  • Dumpman

    ooo Juicy post Brett. You’re just excited to see what we could get aren’t ya? The obvious teams in play must be Toronto, Texas, New York. Miami, Detriot, Boston and even the Reds could jump on this also.

    For Toronto I could see Deck McGuire, Travis d’Arnaud and a third.

    For the Rangers I could see Mike Olt, Martin Perez and Tanner Scheppers.

    For the Yankees I could see Gary Sanchez, Dellin Betances, and Adam Warren.

    Have to favor the Rangers here. Not high on the Yankees because they tend to overrate
    top prospects.

  • pfk

    Trading Garza is the biggest head-scratcher suggestion going. And nobody has made the slightest bit of sense as to why its a good idea – including everything written above. Every one of the reasons could be countered with why it makes no sense – on just about any level.

    • Internet Random

      Every one of the reasons could be countered with why it makes no sense – on just about any level.

      Break it down for us, Elmer.

    • Pat

      52 & 54 career with a 3.84 era. Garza is not a dominant pitcher, although he is very good. If someone wants to pay you like he’s Cliff Lee, you say thank you and take the deal. Maximizing assets.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, I’d love to hear it. We can keep it on an example level: if the choice is Edwin Jackson, AND a top 50 pitching prospect who is ML-ready, AND a top 50 positional prospect who is ML-ready, AND another top 100 prospect, or Matt Garza, how exactly does choosing the former cache of players not make sense? I can understand you might disagree, but, like, not make the slightest bit of sense? Come on now.

      • Lou

        Maybe we could pry Mitch Moreland away from the Rangers ;)

      • Jeff

        I’m all for listening to offers for Garza, but I’m in the boat that says don’t trade him.  I’m not being obstinate though, and I can see the logic behind accepting a huge return for him.  The problem that I see is that prospects hardly pan out, and teams seem to be guarding the best prospects like Fort Knox.  Last year, the deal to get Garza was pretty well panned because everyone’s opinion of the guys shipped out was so high, and I’m pretty sure that a good majority of the posters here thought it was a bad trade.  In hindsight, the trade worked out as well for the Cubs as one could have hoped.  I can only think of a handful of deals where the team receiving prospects for top level pitching got the better end of the deal.  It becomes even more weighted in favor of proven over prospects when you consider that Garza is not even close to being a rental guy and is under control for under market value for at least two more years.

        I really love that Pat threw up the W/L record as reason to trade Garza considering he should have won 5 or 6 more games this year than he did, and, you know, wins for a starting pitcher is about as arbitrary as it gets.  I think anyone that watched could tell that Garza carried this team at points last year, and I’m just not keen on giving up a guy that is the undoubted ace of the staff.  If there was a solid pitcher who could almost guarantee a sub 4 era and 200 innings pitched, I’d be more inclined to think that trading Garza is a good idea.  I can completely envision Edwin Jackson and his 5.00 era walking off the mound with arm problems in early July.  The logic behind trading him is solid, but I think that there needs to be a better option to consider as his replacement, something that I don’t see right now.   I may have a skewed opinion on this though.   I don’t think the talent level here is as bad as it seems, and I think the team has a legitimate shot to contend in the next two seasons, and there is no way a contending team ships it’s ace for prospects without a sure fire replacement.

        • Pat

          Won loss records within a single season are pretty much meaningless. Over the course of a career the randomness lessens, as with any sample. And with the exception of last year, he’s been on some pretty good teams.

          Garza is a very good pitcher, but if someone want to pay the Cubs like he’s a great one, I take the deal.

  • JulioZuleta

    Ahh, what a beautiful thing to see, from mlbtr.com on how 2011’s top AL MVP finishers were acquired.

    Jacoby Ellsbury – Draft – The Red Sox selected Ellsbury with the 23rd overall pick in the 2005 draft and held onto him after a lost 2010 season despite trade interest from other clubs.

    Justin Pedroia – Draft – The Red Sox selected Pedroia, the 2008 MVP, in the second round of the 2004 draft.

    Adrian Gonzalez – Trade – The Red Sox surrendered a trio of top prospects to obtain Gonzalez from the Padres a year ago.

    Only one other player on the whole list was acquired by their current team through the draft. So right here, we have 2, not just solid players, but two MVP candidates drafted in the last 7 years by Theo, and Adrian Gonzalez, who was acquired using prospects drafted by Theo and crew…

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      The best part is that I can easily imagine that exact post being just as accurate in 2012, 2013, 2014, and beyond.

      That said, I still think they gave up a little much for Adrian Gonzalez. That’s a different issue, though.

      • Jeff

        I think Boston got a steal with the deal that they made.  Gonzalez is an annual MVP candidate in his prime, and none of the guys they gave up blow me away as can’t miss prospects.  Riddick and Kelley, who were the two main trade pieces have both struggled while Gonzalez has been great, maybe the best position player in baseball this year.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          I can’t disagree with any of that, but I’m still not sure we’ll be saying the same thing five years from now. It was a good trade for both sides, but I still think that at the end of the day, the Padres will have gotten the better end of that deal.

          Not that it matters for the Cubs. Which ever GM got the better end of that deal now works on the North Side.

  • Jonathan

    I’d like to see Garza traded for a good return and I’d like it to be with the Reds because I want Alonzo at first base.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Interesting idea. While the Cubs would really have to be blown away to deal in division, it could happen. I could see a package built around Yonder Alonso and Daniel Corcino getting some attention, but I doubt it would be enough.

  • Cliffy

    Weekly Cubs baseball show on Comcast Tuesdays at 5PM.

    QT @CSNChicago: RT @CSNHOTSTOVE: CHICAGO BASEBALL HOT STOVE…series premier Tomorrow (Tues) at 5pm on @CSNChicago hosted by @thekapman and @ChuckGarfien

  • Steve

    I don’t like it. It’s always a risk trading on not signing your best pitchers when getting a new one is a toss up as how they will do. Cubs have a history if unloading good young talent and the Cubs need good young already proven good pitching. Keep him.

    • hansman1982

      No, the Cubs have a history of holding on to young talent and not seeing their glaring weaknesses before they traded them away. Name a prospect we traded before they busted who went on to be any sort of a star.

      • Kyle

        Any sort of a star? Dontrelle Willis, Joe Carter are all I can come up with off the top of my head.

        The Cubs have a long history of not having much young talent to begin with.

  • http://jjcubs jim hein

    I beleive that if we put as many new faces in the starting lineup as there is in the front office we win the pennant

  • MC2

    Be the judge what Theo trades worked the best for Boston?

    Here’s the complete list of his trades Theo Epstein’s Transactions

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